2013-2014 Healing Accomplishments

Our Unique Response to Trauma

Our Healing program area is a unique, yet much needed response—addressing the physical, emotional and spiritual effects of trauma, all in the nurturing environment of community. It encompasses both our programs for survivors and our Heal the Healers program. With the convening of our National Advisory Committee and the groundbreaking action-research project the healing team has led with Georgetown University, this year marked a pivotal year for both—and has demonstrated to us how deeply intertwined they are.

Every day, we face the all too difficult reality that the need for our programs continually exceeds our internal capacity to offer them. One of the primary goals of our healing program has been to re-pilot and share our survivor programs as a replicable, evidence-informed treatment modality—in particular, our signature retreat program—so that organizations throughout the country can serve survivors far beyond Joyful Heart’s own reach.

As FY14 began, the National Advisory Committee (NAC), a diverse group of experts from the fields of trauma and wellness came together to map our journey for the future of these programs. And what better place to do so than Joyful Heart’s birthplace, Hawai‘i.

Over the course of an intensive and emotional three days, the experts provided critical insight and concrete next steps around a concept we have long known: that to best serve survivors, those organizations and staff members must be caring for themselves first. And indeed, Joyful Heart’s survivor retreat program represents an elevated response to trauma, one that must be administered by skilled healers with an exceedingly high level of care, compassion and creativity.

As a result of this time together in Hawai‘i, Joyful Heart has formally integrated the Heal the Healers program as a key component of the retreat model. To ensure the successful replication and dissemination of the survivor retreat model, all healers administering the program must first gain an awareness and understanding of vicarious trauma through Heal the Healers.

National Advisory Commitee on beach

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